Expats attracted to Malaysia by the nation’s friendliness

by Ray Clancy on February 12, 2018

Expats from Europe and North America will continue to be attracted to work in Malaysia with the friendly nature of the people one of the biggest draws, it is claimed.

There will also be a lot of Asian expats currently working in Singapore, Indonesia and Greater China who are likely to move to the country, according to the head of HSBC Bank Malaysia.


(By Ezz Mika Elya/

‘Looking for accommodation, organising healthcare and schooling are all easy to do in Malaysia, hence the plus points for expats to move here,’ said Lim Eng Seong, country head of retail banking and wealth management.

‘We still see a significant proportion of expats coming from Europe and North America but also a robust pool of Asian expats working in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China, all trying to capture opportunities from the region’s fast growing consumer services sector, increased tech and digital focus and infrastructure push,’ he added.

Some 44% of expats currently are from Europe and 18% from Eastern Asia and he pointed out the continued growth in China and Asean means there will continue to be a demand for a diverse mix of talent from people who are internationally mobile.

He also explained that it means that banks, like HSBC, need to be aware of the financial needs of expats which are increasingly more complex. They can need accounts in multiple markets and currencies, health and protection cover, as well as saving and investing for education, retirement and property investment.

Based on HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey conducted last year, he said Asia continues to provide promising economic prospects and improved quality of life that appeal to professionals and entrepreneurs both from within the region and across the globe.

The study, which is the world’s largest and longest running survey of expats life, involving over 27,500 expats, found that 61% found it was easy to make friends in Malaysia while 44% said they have better social lives compared to 31% of all expats around the world and 40% regionally.

Some 61% of expats found finding accommodation easy, 54% found organising healthcare simple and 52% cited schooling as being easy to arrange along with childcare.

The survey also found that expats in Asia said they have experienced an uplift in income of at least 10 per cent, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Lim said Asia continues to draw expats from all over the globe for its buoyant economic prospects. In fact, once expats settle down, life continues to be positive for most of them. Some 55% live in a better property than they would have had in their home country.

They also have the means to take more holidays and 28% said that they have more domestic help, while 18% said they donate more to charity.


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